Volpe Center Perspectives Series: Human Factors Considerations in Recent Aviation Accidents
On April 12, 2016, the Volpe Center hosted Jack Keenan, VP of Aviation Safety Consulting, Limited, as part of the Volpe Center Perspectives Speaker Series. Mr. Keenan described how human performance issues led to fatal aircraft accidents in several case studies of crashes in Massachusetts.
More specifically, Mr. Keenan demonstrated how aeronautical decision making, susceptibility to hazardous attitudes, deviations from standardized procedures, and external pressures from passengers, led to fatal events. Throughout the presentation, Mr. Keenan facilitated a dialogue with the audience to discuss how qualified pilots possibly succumbed to conditions that led to fatalities under circumstances that could have had a better outcome. Human error can amplify routine hazards into accidents and simple, behavioral discipline tools can provide effective defense strategies for mitigating these hazards.
Jack Keenan is a recently retired Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Safety Inspector and Safety Program Manager. Mr. Keenan has accrued over 18,000 accident-free hours of flight experience over the course of his military and civilian careers. Mr. Keenan is an accomplished single and multi-engine helicopter and airplane pilot and holds dual Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) ratings in airplanes and helicopters. He also holds CFI and CFII instructor ratings in airplanes and helicopters.
DOT Employees Celebrate Women’s History at White House Event
March is Women’s History Month, and, although we are always looking for innovative ways to get more women and girls interested in careers in transportation, this month allows us to focus more clearly on this goal.
Since the founding of the United States women have played an integral role in the development and advancement of transportation. From wagons and horse carts to bicycles, automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, airplanes, and space shuttles, women have served as inventors, pilots, engineers, drivers, administrative professionals, conductors, and executives, and in a host of other vital occupations.
Throughout March, the Department is highlighting the role of women in transportation at a number of events. Yesterday, women representing each mode at U.S. DOT participated in an exciting event at the White House in conjunction with the White House Council on Women and Girls. The forum, “Energizing, Empowering and Engaging Women in Transportation,” provided an opportunity for DOT employees to meet with senior women at DOT, including General Counsel Kathryn Thomson, Director of Public Affairs Suzi Emmerling, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement Bryna Helfer, and Deputy Chief of Staff Rhonda Carter.
The program also features some of the leading voices in transportation outside of the Department, including National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chair Bella Dinh-Zarr, UnitedHealthcare Vice President for Community and Strategic Engagement Flora Castillo, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Transportation Grindly Johnson, and Bay Area Rapid Transit General Manager Grace Crunican.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear directly about career challenges and opportunities in transportation, while also learning about how these leading women are advancing innovation, safety and opportunity across the industry. Additionally, this forum served as the perfect outlet to celebrate the incredible accomplishments that the women of our Department have made over the last half century.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that we still have a long way to go before every young girl dreaming of a career in transportation can easily access that opportunity. So our Department continues to promote women’s involvement in transportation through programs like Women and Girls in Transportation Initiative, an internship program the enables female students from colleges and universities across the country to learn more about the exciting careers that the transportation sector has to offer, and Transportation YOU, a partnership program we offer in conjunction with WTS International that gives young women ages of 13 and 18 the opportunity to explore careers.
During this Women’s History Month, we look forward to continue celebrating the increasing numbers of women who are making a critical difference in the safe and efficient movement of people and goods here in America and throughout the world. The Department of Transportation salutes these pioneers – past, present, and future. To learn more about our women transportation pioneers, we invite you to visit our Women in Transportation History interactive collage.